Top quality flavoured olive oil enchants the international market

The family company Mallafré has captivated International attention and recognition with its gourmet olive oils, flavoured with thyme, rosemary, garlic, coffee or tangerine, among other ingredients. 70% of the production is exported, mainly to France, Germany and Italy, but also to Japan where Mallafré’s ginger flavoured olive oil is a major success.

CNA / Anna Ferràs

May 20, 2011 12:40 AM

Riudoms (ACN).- A Catalan family business, run by their third generation, is developing top quality olive oil that is beginning to be recognised in competitive markets abroad. Mallafré oils are getting international recognition because of their quality but also for its innovation.Over the last 75 years, the Mallafré family has been running its mill to produce olive oil in the village of Riudoms (South Catalonia). More than ten years ago, besides extra virgin and virgin olive oils, they started producing flavoured oils. The flavoured oils come from pressing the olives together with a specific ingredient, such as coffee beans, ginger roots, or orange peel. Therefore, they are virgin olive oil with something else, for instance virgin tangerine olive oil. The difference with similar products is that the others come from maceration of the ingredient within the already produced oil. Currently Mallafré offers nine varieties of flavoured oils: lemon, orange, tangerine, rosemary, thyme, chilli, ginger, coffee, and garlic. They also have organic oil, flavoured with different nuts, such as hazelnut, almond, pistachio and pumpkin seeds. However, besides these new and innovative products, the mill continues working with traditional techniques, such as the “cold pressing”. These olive oil artisans are expanding their sales, with a well designed website, increasing the number of distribution points, and selling abroad. Their products are highly regarded in France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Last year, Mallafré increased their distribution by ten percentage points across Spain. Currently 500 shops sell their products, 400 in Catalonia and 100 in the rest of Spain. However, it is abroad where they sell 70% of their products. The top markets are, in this order, Italy (31%), France (28%), and Germany (28%). Other markets are the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and they plan to expand in Latin America, starting with Mexico. However, Japan ranks high on the list, as they created a flavoured olive oil specifically for this market: the ginger one. “Nowadays, good virgin olive oils are produced in many places, and that’s why we have to try to innovate and find new products to distance ourselves from the conventional ones”, explains Josep Maria Mallafré, the company’s CFO. They want to issue a new product every year. In 2011, they will release the basil flavoured oil, which will be “an exquisite complement for Mediterranean and Asian dishes”, explains Mallafré.